What does a Reporter or Journalist do?

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Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts inform the local, national, and international public about events or news that is currently happening. They report the news or events for television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and websites. They perform their jobs mostly in the field gathering information by conducting interviews and investigating stories. This occupation is fast-paced with high stress to meet deadlines and be first to break a news story.

Watch a video to learn what a reporter does:

How to Become a Reporter


Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news reporters need a bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications. These programs include courses in conducting interviews, journalistic ethics, and techniques for researching stories. They may also include classes in English, economics, history, and political science.

It may be advantageous to take courses in programming, multimedia design, and coding. It is becoming increasingly necessary for reporters to know how to develop stories with graphics, video, audio and data.An employer typically desires candidates to have experience from internships or a related field. College students would benefit from gaining multiple internships with different news organizations so they become familiar with putting stories together and developing a professional portfolio.

Job Description of a Reporter

Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts typically have the duties of researching stories and topics that have been assigned to them by their news director or editor. They carry out interviews to get information or opinions about an article or story. They work on writing articles for magazines, newspapers, and blogs as well as write scripts to be read on radio or television. He or she would have the duty of reviewing articles for grammar, accuracy, and proper style.

A reporter, correspondent, and broadcast news analysts need to develop relationships with contacts and experts who provide them with leads or tips. They make sure an audience has the proper understanding of the news by analyzing and interpreting information and ensure they update stories as they are happening. They should be skilled in communication, objectivity, persistence and have interpersonal abilities. They need to have computer skills and have the stamina to work long hours with a high-stress level.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a decline in this industry due to the technology movement. Many newspapers and publishers are no longer printing or they are having to consolidate resources, staff, and share content with other media outlets to decrease costs. Many people are wanting to enter this occupation therefore with the decline and fierce competition, jobs are hard to come by.

Reporter Career Video Transcript

On television and in print, journalists uncover facts to report the news as objectively as possible. Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts inform the public about events and news occurring internationally, nationally, and locally.

Reporters and correspondents (or journalists) spend a lot of time in the field meeting contacts, investigating stories, and conducting interviews so they can write or record a story. The work is often fast-paced to meet deadlines or be the first to break news. Multimedia skills are increasingly in demand so that journalists can add audio, video, and graphics to adapt stories for different platforms including newspapers, magazines, television, live radio, websites, podcasts, and social media. Some reporters freelance, covering individual stories for a fee or marketing their own stories to news organizations.

Broadcast news analysts work in radio and television, sharing their opinions with their audience based on their expertise in a particular subject, such as politics, business, or medicine. Most reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts work full-time. Travel is common, and may include exposure to risks in situations such as war zones or natural disasters. Schedules change as news occurs and may include nights and weekends. To enter the field, a bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications is preferred, along with related experience such as internships or work in college news media.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts.

National Center for O*NET Development. 27-3022.00. O*NET OnLine.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

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